Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Should You Outline First?

To outline or not to outline, that is the question. There are two schools of thought.

Because screenplays must adhere to a three-act structure, in a limited amount of pages, many writing coaches advocate creating a complete outline first.

Then there is the other school, which includes me, that takes a more free-wheeling approach.

Whenever I try to outline a story, it seems to block the flow of ideas. I like to start with an idea, with a general sense of the characters and see where it takes me. Many writers prefer the free-flow of ideas and the freedom of using an idea when it hits them.

Tolkien said at the beginning of the Rings trilogy, "The story grew in the telling."

Bottom line, there is no right or wrong way, there is only what works for you.


1 comment:

  1. Danek,
    Good topic. For a first draft, I just sit down and write. Oh - what fun discoveries happen! This is the gift that a writer gives to herself. After the first draft, for the tightly structure screenplay, I will form an outline and/or use 3x5 cards posted on a corkboard -- to get a bird's eye view of the screenplay. By the way, if anyone wants some encouragement, I wrote a well-received article (44 comments so far) entitled "How to 'Never Give Up'" at You'll learn about my sci-fi motion picture "TimePulse"

    good energy to all your creative endeavors :)